Take thePLUNGE

EVERYONE wants to make a splash with figure-flattering swimwear. Lisa Haynes presents her guide to finding the perfect pieces to suit your body shape.

AS IF the annual pressure to obtain a beach body isn’t enough, this summer we have the Olympic Games with all those honed and toned bodies in skimpy costumes to contend with.

According to a recent poll for Moontide swimwear, 53 per cent of women start thinking about how they’ll look in their costumes more than two weeks before their holiday. But whatever your shape, use our guide to body shape and find a costume to disguise your hot spots and flaunt your best bits:


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If your figure is ‘bottom heavy’, your swimsuit choices should balance out your shape.

Your body is all about the hips, thighs and bottom, so try mixing a print or embellished top with solid colour bottoms, which has the effect of slimming down your hips.

CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Coleen Rooney.


An ‘inverted triangle’ shape. If you have a wide upper body, avoid fussy detailing on your top half.

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Your legs may be one of your best features, so try a bikini bottom with adjustable, long tie sides that will make them look even more enviable.

If you’re top-heavy due to a bigger bust, look for a simple, well-structured bikini top and steer clear of deep-plunging V-necklines.

CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Jessica Simpson.


If your body fits the bill as a classic hourglass shape, it’s all about emphasising your voluptuous 

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The swimwear world is your oyster but avoid 
anything too skimpy, you’re looking to emphasise — and contain — your curves.

Look to old-school Hollywood glamour with retro cuts to flatter your figure.

CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Kelly Brook, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet.


Long and lean with a tomboyish shape, your aim may be to create curves through your swimming costume.

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Fashion yourself the illusion of a bigger bust with pleats, ruffles and gathering to add volume.

Use the same principles if you want to magic yourself a bigger bottom.

CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katie Holmes.


Those petite in frame should avoid busy prints that swamp your diminutive figure like the plague.

A V-neck swimsuit or halter-neck will make your neck appear longer. Make your torso look lean by choosing low-cut bikini bottoms.

CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Kylie Minogue.